How to get a visa to live / work in the UK

For Canadians living / traveling in the UK

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oohmercymeModeratorUser avatar
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How to get a visa to live / work in the UK

Post Sat Jul 08, 2006 5:20 am

If you are wanting to move to the UK- look here first for how to get a visa.

1. Obtain citizenship from an EU country
If you have parents or grandparents who emmigrated from an EU country, you should check with the consulate of that country if you are eligible for citizenship. If you have citizenship from any EU country, you are able to live and work in the EU without any restrictions.

2. Working Holiday Visa

3. Ancestry Visa

4. Highly Skilled Immigrant Visa

If you know the process of getting any of these visas, please post the details for others.

Cheers! :D
sleepyCanuckAbroad Regular
Posts: 65
Joined: 4 Jun 2006
Location: London

Another method... UK Work Permit...

Post Fri Jul 28, 2006 8:46 pm

I was able to live and work in the UK by way of a UK Work Permit and Visa. Here's the story.

I posted my resume on an industry-specific job site, and was contacted by a UK recruiting firm. I had to fly in for an interview, but it was worth it. The company offered me the job and applied for a UK Work Permit on my behalf (this is the only way).

The lawyer who handled the application said that he had to provide sufficient evidence to show that the company could not find a suitable candidate in the EU to fill the advertised position. Also, I had to provide evidence to show that I was qualified for the position - university transcripts and reference letters from former employers. The Work Permit was approved within 3 weeks.

Next, I had to apply for a UK Visa through the British High Commission in Ottawa. I had to answer a bunch of questions and provide the Work Permit, original passports (current and expired), bank statements for the last 3 months, and pay stubs for the last 3 months.

I applied online, and sent the application and supporting documents by mail. The Visa was approved within 2 weeks.

Under the terms of the Work Permit, I'm allowed to live and work in the UK for 5 years, as long as I remain employed by the same company. I believe after 4 years I can apply for UK citizenship, as long as I haven't spent a lot of time outside of the UK during those 4 years.

In general, it was a simple, yet lengthy process (almost 2 months).

The difficult part is finding a UK employer willing to go through the Work Permit application process. However, I think there are UK companies and/or recruitment firms that actively search for overseas talent.

So yeah. that's how I got in. Hopefully this information helps out a fellow Canadian!


*** UPDATE ***

I've received quite a few private messages regarding this post. So I'll add a bit to the original post.

I am a game developer. My resume was posted on a site for game developers. This is what I meant when I said "industry-specific". The headhunter found me through this site because he was looking for a game developer with a specific skill set and experience working with a specific technology on a specific platform.

At the time I was not actively looking to move to the UK. In fact, I wasn't even looking for a new job. I was quite happy in Toronto. The UK opportunity just presented itself out of the blue one day and it was an offer that I could not refuse.

Unfortunately, I do not know of any websites or employment agencies that specialize in finding foreign workers for UK companies.

The important thing to know is that a UK Work Permit is pursued by the company, not the individual. So, as an individual, all you can really do is hope that your skills are in high demand. If so, it will be easy to find a UK company willing to acquire a work permit for you. If not, then there are other ways to work in the UK.

The Highly Skilled Migrant Program in particular is an *excellent* way to go. I think I might switch to that one soon so I can have the freedom to work for any UK company. It costs 400 quid to apply, but I'm hoping the company will pay for that.

Another possible alternative is to get a job with an international company with offices in Canada and the UK. Then, request a transfer to the UK, or serach the internal job postings for positions in the UK office. Large multinationals usually have the in-house resources to handle personnel transfers across countries, and are familiar with acquiring work permits. This approach is a bit risky, but it *could* work.

And then of course, there are all the schemes and programmes available for working in the UK:
http://www.workingintheuk.gov.uk/working_in_the_uk/en/homepage/schemes_and_programmes.html
Last edited by sleepy on Mon Nov 26, 2007 4:10 pm, edited 3 times in total.
oohmercymeModeratorUser avatar
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Post Sat Jul 29, 2006 2:01 am

Sleepy- great info. Cheers!
Lori
sleepyCanuckAbroad Regular
Posts: 65
Joined: 4 Jun 2006
Location: London

UK Visas and Work Permits

Post Thu Aug 17, 2006 12:40 pm

For those interested in living and working in the UK, the following is a summary of options available:

Highly Skilled Migrant Visa

* for highly skilled individuals who intend to live and work in the UK
* applicants are evaluated using a points-based scoring system
* points are awarded according to applicant's age, qualifications, work experience, past earnings, achievements; achievements of spouse or partner is also considered

Work Permit

* for individuals recruited or employed by UK companies
* application is made by the employer, not the individual
* employer must prove that a candidate with the similar qualifications could not be found within the european union
* allows individual to live and work in the uk for up to 5 years
* after expiry, individual may apply for permanent residency or UK citizenship

Work Permit (Sectors Based Scheme)

* for workers to fill specific jobs in specific sectors of the UK economy
* a quota is established for an identified sector
* permit application is made by the employer, not the individual
* applicants must be between 18 and 30, and are not allowed to bring spouses and children
* work permit is valid for up to 12 months
* after expiry, individual must leave the UK, and may not reapply for 2 months

Working Holidaymaker Visa

* for individuals who plan to stay in the UK for an extended holiday (more than 6 months)
* individual may live in the uk for up to 2 years, and work for 12 months of those 2 years
* applicant must be a commonwealth citizen, single with no children, and have sufficient funds to support themselves, and purchase a plane ticket home
* after expiry, individual must leave the UK, unless a work permit or other type of visa is obtained

Science and Engineering Graduates Visa

* for recent graduates of science and engineering programs from UK universities
* individual may live and work in the UK for up to 12 months after graduation
* after expiry, individual must leave the UK, unless a work permit or other type of visa is obtained

Business Visas

* for individuals who invest over £200,000
* for individuals who are starting a UK office for an overseas business
* for entrepreneurs and innovators who are starting a business in the uk
* for lawyers who will practice non-UK law

Marriage Visa

* for spouses of UK citizens and permanent residents
* 2 year probationary period applies if together for less than 4 years
* individual is free to work in the UK
* after 3 years of living in the UK, individual may apply for permanent residency or citizenship

Unmarried Partners Visa


* similar to marriage visa, but couple must prove that they have been together for at least 2 years, and that the relationship is permanent

Fiancé/e Visa

* for those planning to marry a uk citizen or permanent resident
* individual may live but not work in the UK for up to 6 months, and must be married in that time
* after the marriage, individual should apply for a marriage visa

Ancestry Visa

* for those who have UK ancestry
* individual must have a parent or grandparent who was born in the UK
* allows individual to live and work in the UK for up to 5 years
* application requires full birth certificates of applicant and relevant parent or grandparent
* after expiry, individual may apply for permanent residency or citizenship

The source of this information: www.workpermit.com

*** UPDATE ***

Some of these options may no longer be available, or the criteria may have changed. For up-to-date information look here:

http://www.workpermit.com/uk/uk.htm

and:

http://www.workingintheuk.gov.uk/working_in_the_uk/en/homepage/schemes_and_programmes.html
Last edited by sleepy on Mon Nov 26, 2007 4:19 pm, edited 2 times in total.
oohmercymeModeratorUser avatar
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Post Thu Aug 17, 2006 12:46 pm

WOW sleepy! That's fab! Cheers. :D
Lori
AngelKiriCanuckAbroad Regular
Posts: 66
Joined: 29 Aug 2006
Location: North West England

Post Tue Sep 05, 2006 6:00 am

I emmigrated 2 years ago on an Ancestry Visa, just to add on to Sleepy's info which is very good! I had called the UK Visa office in Ottowa with loads of questions (annoyed the heck out of them I bet) while filling out the paperwork for my application, here's some of the info I got thats not on their websites:

1) Your bank statements basically should show that you have maintained a consistent average balance (savings) of I believe it was $3000 CDN (but not sure! Thats how much I had at the time.) and basically to show you haven't had any bounced cheques or bad credit history in the last 6 months

I took this to mean that they want to make sure your not doing a runner on your creditors in Canada & that you have enough extra cash to support yourself for the first couple of months while looking for work/home etc.

2) You should preferably have a UK citizen to sponsor you & put you up when you arrive, you need to have arranged for somewhere to live when you arrive in the UK.
In my case, my partner was living with his parents who own their house and his parents had to send me a copy of their deed to the house along with a signed letter attesting that they would allow me to live with them at no charge until I was able to find work & a place of my own.

3) You absolutely NEED an original copy of the birth certificate of your UK ancestor in addition to your own.
If its a granparent, as it was in my case, you need your parent's original birth certificate (that shows your UK grandparents name on it) as well as your grandparent's birth certificate and your own legal birth certificate.
I had to order a copy of my grandmothers birth certificate off the Scottish Govt births/deaths records website (as my grandmother had passed away decades ago)& it cost under $50 (not sure exact amount) and took about 2 weeks to arrive in the post.

Thats just some of the added info I found out through my phone calls to the embassy. If there's anything your unsure of or want to make sure what you have is sufficient, don't hesitate to pay the long distance and call the Ontario UK Visa office for help, it's worth the cost for the peace of mind that you have dont it correctly.

Because I made sure everything I sent them was meeting or exceeding their criteria, my Visa was stamped in my returned passport (sent by courrier) within 2 weeks of having sent it to them (also by courrier for peace of mind that the important documents wouldnt get lost by Canada Post) - Hope this helps other Canadians planning on immigrating here :D
I LOVE KD :-D
hophopNew Member
Posts: 1
Joined: 29 Dec 2006
Location: Victoria BC

Post Fri Dec 29, 2006 5:09 pm

Can I get more info about this one

"1. Obtain citizenship from an EU country
If you have parents or grandparents who emmigrated from an EU country, you should check with the consulate of that country if you are eligible for citizenship. If you have citizenship from any EU country, you are able to live and work in the EU without any restrictions. "

My mother's Father was British and mother Canadian. She obtained a British passport a few years back and says she can live and work freely in the EU becasue of it. My Father is British, so I assume I qualify for this as well. Any tips on where to get the info to apply and what exactly the British passport allows me to do? I was surprised that a document so easy to get would allow you so much access to so many countries. I also have 3 grandparents who are British so at the least I am sure I could obtain an Ancestry VISA.

Thanks!

Erin
AngelKiriCanuckAbroad Regular
Posts: 66
Joined: 29 Aug 2006
Location: North West England

Post Sat Dec 30, 2006 7:38 am

I think this website will provide you with what your looking for:

http://www.ind.homeoffice.gov.uk/applyi ... ty/advice/

As for having a British passport enabling you to work freely across the EU, yes this is true.
My English friend here has recently started a contract for a company which has him working in 10 different EU countries over the next few months. It's part of the European Union agreement that Britain, amongst most other European countries (that I can think of) signed up for to improve the European economy as a whole.
I LOVE KD :-D
Canehdian1New Member
Posts: 6
Joined: 30 Dec 2006
Location: Canada

Post Sat Dec 30, 2006 10:43 am

Hi Everyone, 1st Posting.
Question and confirmation, if anyone knows. My wife's (married for 3+years) father was born in the UK. From scouring many of the websites available, I believe she can apply directly for her passport with supporting documentation (birth certificate that shows her father's name, etc; father's birth certificate that shows his place of birth, parents name, etc; and the actual passport application). I am also under the impression that I can move with her for an initial 2 year period (although I have read elsewhere that it may be a 3 year period) after which I can apply for my own citizenship? Would she be considered a British Citizen, by descent?

Thanks!
The TheNew Member
Posts: 4
Joined: 2 Jan 2007
Location: Vancouver

Post Tue Jan 02, 2007 5:16 pm

AngelKiri wrote:
3) You absolutely NEED an original copy of the birth certificate of your UK ancestor in addition to your own.
If its a granparent, as it was in my case, you need your parent's original birth certificate (that shows your UK grandparents name on it) as well as your grandparent's birth certificate and your own legal birth certificate.




I applied for my ancestry visa in the summer of 2004. My experience was different.

When I applied for my visa I sent notarized copies of all the documentation rather than original birth certifiates. The British High Commission didn't mind.

I believe one needs only $1,500 minimum in a bank account. I think that's what I was told. Obivously more is better. Best to call and make sure.

To show that I had a place to stay, all I did was print out an email that a friend wrote saying I was welcome to stay at her house. There was no need to get the deed or official letters.

Again, best to check with the High Commission to know for sure what is needed if you're unsure.

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